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Ten public Missouri universities evaluating ‘Strategic Procurement Shared Services Program’

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John Fougere

Chief Communications Officer

University Relations

May 04, 2011

UM System leads collaborative feasibility study to evaluate potential for reduced expenses, improved efficiencies

Ten of the state’s public four-year universities announced today they have initiated a feasibility study to determine the projected benefits of participating in a statewide strategic procurement shared services program led by the University of Missouri System. This program would leverage the contracts the UM System already has in place to other institutions, resulting in supply and processing cost efficiencies that could ultimately result in significant cost savings.

“All of us are keenly interested in finding ways our universities can be more productive and efficient, including  trimming costs wherever we can,” said Gary Allen, vice president of Information Technology for the UM System. “This thorough feasibility study is designed to determine whether the idea of a strategic procurement program would be a good return on the investment each of us would need to make.”

Joining the four campuses of the University of Missouri System in this feasibility study are:  Truman State University, Northwest Missouri State University, Missouri State University, Harris-Stowe State University, Southeast Missouri State University and Missouri Western State University.  

The collaborative feasibility study represents a continuation of the system’s two-year pursuit of its shared services strategic initiative to curb expenses and avoid duplication of administrative tasks in such functions as human resources, information technology, finance and procurement.

This eight-week feasibility study, conducted by Huron and SciQuest in cooperation with the UM System Procurement Department, will consider the combined annual purchasing power of these institutions for a wide range of products and services—from class and office technology and administrative supplies to travel, food and power. The study also will identify the required resources and preliminary costs, deliver a variety of business plan options, outline the preliminary program design and the return on investment for each institution. 

Depending on the outcome of the feasibility study, each of the institutions will consider whether it will participate in the proposed timetable for deploying a shared procurement services program.